Spokane Interim Fire Chief says Oakland warehouse fire was 'comp - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Interim Fire Chief says Oakland warehouse fire was 'completely predictable'

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A building with no sprinklers, no smoke alarms, and no permits for residential living became a death trap for those trying to escape the blinding smoke and billowing flames Friday.

The grim search for victims is far from over as firefighters continue to sift through the ashes of a charred shell of a converted warehouse in Oakland.

“This was a completely predictable event,” said Spokane Interim Fire Chief, Brian Schaeffer. “And it's incredibly unfortunate that we have firefighters in that building right now looking for body parts.”

Schaeffer says his heart goes out to those who lost loved ones to the blaze, and the Oakland firefighters who remain on scene.

“We're tired of removing pieces of human bodies out of residences or apartment buildings after they've succumbed to the effect of a structure fire,” said Schaeffer, who says this is a wake up call he wants everyone to hear.

“If you look around, some of our most dangerous building from a fire stand point are unprotected without fire sprinklers,” he said.

One example Schaeffer points out is the Rosewood Club Apartments -- The scene of a late summer blaze that took the lives of two and sent a young firefighter to the hospital.

The north Spokane building didn't have sprinklers because it wasn't required due to an old law. That’s something Schaeffer says is unacceptable.

“Why not put a fire sprinkler in that building and save a life?”

Schaeffer is calling on tighter regulations and hopes the next time a fire like the one in Oakland happens, it’s not in Spokane.

“It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be next year, but at some point you're going to have everything line up to be a disaster,” said Schaeffer. “And I don't want to live in a community like that. We can do better, we can do better.”

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Racist flyers pop up all over downtown Spokane again

    Racist flyers pop up all over downtown Spokane again

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:33 PM EDT2018-05-27 01:33:48 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. These flyers were found once again on Saturday placed all over downtown Spokane. Back in March, a group called Identity Evropa put racist posters on Eastern Universities campus. Roberto Rodriguez was walking downtown and happened to catch a glimpse of the flyers "With these posters my thoughts on them is why are we having them up?" questioned Rodriguez. Roberto understands that groups have the right to free speech. But Roberto wants...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. These flyers were found once again on Saturday placed all over downtown Spokane. Back in March, a group called Identity Evropa put racist posters on Eastern Universities campus. Roberto Rodriguez was walking downtown and happened to catch a glimpse of the flyers "With these posters my thoughts on them is why are we having them up?" questioned Rodriguez. Roberto understands that groups have the right to free speech. But Roberto wants...

    >>
  • Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor closed indefinitely

    Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor closed indefinitely

    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:33 PM EDT2018-05-26 18:33:58 GMT

    HONOLULU (AP) - Engineers say damage to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu was worse than expected and it will remain closed indefinitely.    Hawaii News Now reports boat transportation to the attraction was suspended May 6 after one of the vessel operators noticed a crack on the outside of the memorial. 

    >>

    HONOLULU (AP) - Engineers say damage to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu was worse than expected and it will remain closed indefinitely.    Hawaii News Now reports boat transportation to the attraction was suspended May 6 after one of the vessel operators noticed a crack on the outside of the memorial. 

    >>
  • Missing hunters identified after crash into Idaho river

    Missing hunters identified after crash into Idaho river

    Sunday, May 27 2018 4:14 PM EDT2018-05-27 20:14:08 GMT

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Authorities have identified four hunters who remain missing after a crash in the Idaho backcountry.    The Idaho County Sheriff's Office on Sunday said the men are: Koby Clark of Bozeman, Montana, Reece Rollins of Terrebonne, Oregon and brothers Raymond and Jesse Ferrieri of Mahapac Falls, New York.

    >>

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Authorities have identified four hunters who remain missing after a crash in the Idaho backcountry.    The Idaho County Sheriff's Office on Sunday said the men are: Koby Clark of Bozeman, Montana, Reece Rollins of Terrebonne, Oregon and brothers Raymond and Jesse Ferrieri of Mahapac Falls, New York.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Colbert mom says son bit by black flies despite precautions

    Colbert mom says son bit by black flies despite precautions

    Sunday, May 27 2018 9:40 PM EDT2018-05-28 01:40:08 GMT

    COLBERT, Wash. - We've hit that period in the year where bugs can really be a problem. The black flies are definitely back and they're biting. Tips to avoid being bit include avoiding areas where the bugs are popular, wearing long sleeves and pants, wearing clothing that is light colored as well as utilizing bug spray. Sara Bunke has taking these precautions but the flies are still eating up her son.

    >>

    COLBERT, Wash. - We've hit that period in the year where bugs can really be a problem. The black flies are definitely back and they're biting. Tips to avoid being bit include avoiding areas where the bugs are popular, wearing long sleeves and pants, wearing clothing that is light colored as well as utilizing bug spray. Sara Bunke has taking these precautions but the flies are still eating up her son.

    >>
  • Coast Guard rescues 78-year-old hiker north of Lincoln City, Ore.

    Coast Guard rescues 78-year-old hiker north of Lincoln City, Ore.

    Sunday, May 27 2018 9:22 PM EDT2018-05-28 01:22:48 GMT

    LINCOLN CITY, Ore. - A Coast Guard helicopter crew assists North Lincoln Fire and Rescue by hoisted an injured, 78-year-old female hiker from a beach near God's Thumb north of Lincoln City, Saturday. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew safely transported the hiker to waiting emergency medical service personnel at a local casino parking lot.

    >>

    LINCOLN CITY, Ore. - A Coast Guard helicopter crew assists North Lincoln Fire and Rescue by hoisted an injured, 78-year-old female hiker from a beach near God's Thumb north of Lincoln City, Saturday. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew safely transported the hiker to waiting emergency medical service personnel at a local casino parking lot.

    >>
  • Spokane Valley business owner's car broken into on camera

    Spokane Valley business owner's car broken into on camera

    Sunday, May 27 2018 9:00 PM EDT2018-05-28 01:00:57 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - New business owner Tabatha Lowe of Tab'z on Broadway says she was not at all surprised when her car was broken into. She acknowledged that this is a frequent occurrence in the area. Security cameras outside of her business caught a clear look at the man who broke into her Durango around 5:25 Saturday morning.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - New business owner Tabatha Lowe of Tab'z on Broadway says she was not at all surprised when her car was broken into. She acknowledged that this is a frequent occurrence in the area. Security cameras outside of her business caught a clear look at the man who broke into her Durango around 5:25 Saturday morning.

    >>